82 % Saudis believe in freedom of belief

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Time: May 06, 2018

RIYADH — A recent field study on social coexistence in the Kingdom has showed that Saudis can coexist peacefully despite sectarian diversity, Al-Hayat daily reported. The study entitled “Coexistence in the Saudi Society” was conducted by King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue in order to enhance national unity and strengthen the social fabric by entrenching the values of diversity and coexistence among all members of the public and promote the principle of tolerance.

The results of the study showed that all participants welcomed the concept of coexistence with people of doctrinal differences. Around 95% of participants said they wish all people well regardless of religion or race while 95% said they respect the promises they give to people of other doctrines. Around 90% said they try not to get involved in discussions or matters that might cause hatred with people of a different doctrine whereas 84% said they are okay having co-workers of varied religious doctrines.

Around 82% said they acknowledge the freedom of others to have their own religions and doctrines while 61% said they do not mind if people of doctrinal differences have their places of worship. About 77% said they do not mind having neighbors in the same building who hold different religious doctrines while 55% refused to get married in families that have different doctrines.

Around 91% said they are ready to promote tolerance with others while 84% said they base their relations with others on citizenship and peace whereas 76% said they are ready to have dialogue with people of different doctrines.

Around 86% said they do not mind engaging in business relations with other others while 77% said they do not hiring someone of a different doctrine in their companies whereas 74% said they do not mind giving zakat and charity to others of different doctrines.

The study recommended that members of the public should be aware of the importance of peaceful coexistence and the school curricula should incorporate subjects and courses on peaceful coexistence and tolerance. The study focused on four geographical areas: Eastern Province (Dammam, Hofouf, Al-Mabruz, Al-Khobar), Madinah, Makkah and Najran. The sample consisted of 3,140 participants, male and female, aged over 18 years old. Around 144 academic researchers participated in the study.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette

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